So yesterday morning was a tad different. Major understatement alert. I crawled out of bed at 5am, with a face 55% crusty % mucus thanks to the wrath of Hayfever, and attempted to make myself look less repulsive. Why? Because I was getting the 5.55 train to London to head to a rave in a church. Sure.
Has she finally lost the plot I hear you ask.... Well that's a different matter entirely, but no, my premature escape from the duvet was part of my mission to extend my weekend. I'd like to take ownershop of this new positive and proactive ethos, but I have to confess I have Lipton Ice Tea to thanks for this break in tired tradition.
They've curated a series of incredible Monday morning events to encourage us to squeeze a little bit more out of our precious and seemingly all too brief weekend. Time is so very precious, and we probably aren't always utlising it in the best way possible, so with this campaign they're reminding us what we could be doing in those lost hours which are usually used to fester in bed.
I'm terribly guilty of wasting the first few hours of the day. As a sufferer of CFS and bouts of Insomnia, I often choose to press that snooze button to an extent that it could bring on a case of RSI. . It feels like the right decision at the time, but as fellow sufferers will know you don't tend to feel any better for it. When the brutal 5am alarm vibrated on my mattress yesterday morning I had the usual inclination to avoid reality for a bit longer. Knowing that I had a job to (the job being, to rave) I got myself up and put on some comfy leggings and a sloggy T-shirt. I presumed, at this ungodly hour, most people would be in the low effort bracket when it came to their appearance.
Rather than do my usual pass-out on the train I decided to behave in a way inkeeping with the ethos of this initiative. No, I wasn't going to start throwing shapes on the train, I'm not sure the sullen looking suited businessmen sitting nearby would have appreciated that, but I did decide to read a book. I've been meaning to read The Power of Now for a while, and it felt satisfying to be educating myself and to be doing some much needed soul-searching while on route to Waterloo. Just being on a train at this hour, with this new mindset, meant that I had already achieved much more than I usually would have. I was already starting to think having a get up and go attitude on a Monday may be the way forward for me....and probably for all of you too.
I managed to get to Christ Church at 6.58 so I didn't get too soggy (yes it is STILL raining) before entering the stunningly beautiful space. After receieving an unexpected but lovely and sustained hug from lady who looked like an etheral forest nymph, I went straight over to the table with the food - which you guys will know is pretty predictable behaviour for me. It was a scrummy but healthy combo of egg, radishes, quinoa ( the colour combinations were picture perfect) and was much needed to give my body a bit of a boost before boogie-ing. There was also yoga and massage going on for those that wanted to break up the three hours of raving.
Like I do with all new environments and situations, I started off by observing. It appeared that some people were taking a very different approach, and were moving their hips and raising their arms to the celing as soon as they had dropped their bags and coats at the side - if the music was on, they were ready to go. They didn't care that they were exposed with metres of unused floorspace surrounding them, they were raring to immerse themselves in the music and the freedom of dance. It soon became clear that this experience would be one of no judgement - nothing would be deemed embarrassing, cringe, weird. We would all be united in a mission to engage in pure positivity and joy - something which, till now, I hadn't associated with Monday mornings.
Although I go to many events on my own as a Blogger/YouTuber, the concept of raving on my own was very daunting - it's fine to dance like I do when on my own in my bedroon, but in public it could be described as offensive. At this particular event it turned out to be extremely freeing though. People seemed to be in their own world (the world of rave), while being completely embrasive of others - it really was a beautiful thing to be a part of. Yes, I'm aware I'm sounding like a complete hippy...but I don't care. I 'd rather be a happy hippy than a grumpy grandma on a Monday.
I had strangers wanting to link arms with me and swing me around, I had my hands on other people's hips when a mass conga started, and a topless man in a tutu, smothered in glitter, shaking his thing in front of me. It was as though there was an agreement on entry that we were all friends, and we were united by a mission to have a good time.
Talking of Glitter, Glitterlution were on hand to ensure we were all sparkly and had the ability to become our very own disco balls. The good thing about this particular brand is that it's biodegradable - go check them out! I was very glad they were there to inject some much needed fun into my outfit. My muted and plain attire felt incredibly dull in comparison to the other revellers. There were beautiful boho babes in white gowns and flower crowns, there was an abundance of spandex in the form of leggings, bodies and bodysuits, there was mesh, mirrored panels, kaleidascopic colour...there was also foxes tails, unicorns, mythical beasts and mermaids. As you can see....anything goes at a Wake and Shake Morning Rave. Next time I go... and there will be a next time, I am going to go all out and hark back to my Ibiza days.
And that was the revelation of this event for me. It awoke something that had lay dormant in me for a while. Don't get me wrong I wasn't ever a massive raver. Unlike some of my friends, you wouldn't find me at Fabric or Ministry every weekend (and totally ruining Sunday with a hangover), but I did like to dip my feet into it every now and then. And when my toes were wet with the club scene, I always had a brilliant time and enjoyed the release it delivered. When I was younger I went on three Ibiza holidays, and although it was never my kind of music to listen to outside of the club environment, I loved the euphoria is created in it's home.
For the last few years I have been largely immersed in the rock/alt world. Yes I've gotten sweaty in a crowd, and shouted at the top of my lungs till I lost my voice, but there has been very little dancing. Yesterday made me realise how much I've missed it, and how cathartic an activity it can me. When I was at uni, my friend Nat used to come over to my dorm. We'd put on our favourite songs - including Prodigy and Faithless - and danced like absolute maniacs. We weren't concerned with looking sexy, or dancing well, it was childlike, haphazard and relentless...and it felt great. It reminds me of that episode of Friends when Phoebe talks about why she runs like she's a kid, you know when your legs almost felt separate to the rest of your body. Thinking about all this made me realise that it's kinda a version of mindfullness - focusing on just the freedom of dancing - but not worrying about repercussions, what people may think of you, how you may be looking while doing it...and so on.
I digess....as usual.
So as you can sense from my ramblings, I had a wonderful time. I left feeling more positive, not just about Mondays, but about people, and life in general.
It's quite odd that I maintain this dread of Monday's considering I have a job that requires me to work everyday in some form or another. It's not like the weeekend is particularly different to a weekday for a blogger/YouTuber, so it's strange that I still feel have that feeling in the pit of my stomach every Sunday. I hate the sound of the Grand Prix, the smell of Roast lunch, even the theme for Antiques Roadshow, all because of their association with Sunday's. Of course initially 'the fear' came from realising you'd left your home work too late and you'd be back at school in a few hours, and in those days your wree meant to have that 'school sucks' mentality. My more recent feelings I think stem from Sunday usually being a fairly low key day, one which features a lot of time and space to dwell and worry. It's the day where I might start feeling anxious about interviews or work things I have in the next week. It may be the day where I spend even more time scrolling through social media and therefore left feeling particularly inferior.
I feel like Lipton Ice Tea have nailed it. If we have something incredibly awesome waiting for us on Monday morning, surely not only will we feel able to enjoy our Sunday's a bit more, we'll eradicate or at least dinimish that Monday dread, and potentially even want Monday to hurry the hell up. Imagine!
Now, if this particular event doesn't appeal, there really is something for everyone on Lipton Ice Tea's Monday Morning events agenda. If you like photography, comedy, art, music, sport...or simply eating nice food, please make sure you head to the site now and have a gander. Some events will require you to and enter, others you can simply buy a ticket for, but I guarantee you'll have a blast.
This blog post wasn't sponsored by Lipton Ice Tea- but I was invited down and required to tweet/instagram/snapchat and create a video which you can see on my channel tonigh.
P.S The event was such a feast for the eyes - exuberant in colour, filled with actions of love and openess, dancing with complete and utter abandon ...basically I just wanted to snap all the time so I didn't miss any of the beautiful sights. So I'd thought I'd pop a bunch of photos on this vlog. I hope these joyous captures will encourage you to creep out of your bed and do something similarly fantastic with your early Monday mornings!